Reviewed by: Amelia
Price (MSRP): $899-$999
Best Use: Multi-Use
Where to Buy: Amazon
Testing Location: Wyoming
Testing Environment: All conditions
This January, Thule did an overhaul of their line of Chariot Child Transportation systems. The Cross joins the Lite and the Cheetah XT in the line-up (the Chinook, XT and Cougar have been discontinued). We were anxious to get our hands on the Cross (most comparable to the other Chariots we have used in the past) so we could share our findings with you.
We have the Chariot Cross 2, so this review will be focussed on the two-kid system. But, really the single is the same except with one less seat, of course.
First off, Thule did make some really great improvements to the Cross to make it more user friendly for people looking for an all-around adventure mobile. Unfortunately, it’s not 100% love for us yet….but that’s a tall order to fill when different people have different needs.
Here’s a quick run-down of the Cross and some updates made on this new model:
– Comes ready to go with the strolling and biking kits
– Has individually reclining seats
– More viewing space than past Chariots (screen is integrated…..weather guard and sun shade are removable)
– Adjustable handlebar
– Large “trunk space” that can be stored out of the way when not in use
– Thule VersaWing system allows super quick coversion
– Ability to store biking arm and strolling wheels right on the stroller
– Compact fold (more like the Cougar than the Chinook)
– New ski attachment system
– 75 lb. weight capacity, weighs 28.2 pounds
Showing adjustment of handlebar:
What we love:
– RECLINING INDIVIDUAL SEATS! This goes SUCH a long way for me and was something that I always wish my Cougar had. It’s a life-saver for kids of different ages napping at different times. It’s also a major improvement from the Chinook (which also had a reclining seat), just in that the mechanism is much smoother.
– The adjustable handlebar + the shape that allows you to hold it at different spots makes pushing it so much easier.
– While I am not crazy about strolling wheels on chip-sealed roads, we have been doing fairly well with them while we await the jogging kit. The ride is surprisingly smooth.
– The VersaWing system really does make changing between attachments much easier
– The mesh covering is a lot bigger allowing for better viewing and better ventilation
– The weather shield and sunshade can come off completely (separate from each other) so if you don’t need them, they don’t have to “clutter” the space
– It folds up small and compact (for what it is)
– The seats are comfy for the kids and keep them secure. We love how Thule updated their buckles so now you can buckle each side individually – so handy when wrestling a kid into their seat….not that that ever happens…..
What we aren’t so crazy about:
– We haven’t had any issues with it yet since the weather has been cool, but when the seats recline, there is no mesh at the child’s head….which I would imagine would have been an nice option for hotter weather.
– While I do think it is a great idea to have the weather shield completely removable, getting it on and off is just one more step, which really bugs me. You have to zip up the screen mesh and then attach the weather shield. I don’t like the extra step when I have to do it every single time the kids need something….but once I don’t need it in the summer, I am sure I won’t even notice. Sun shade has yet to be used…..but may pose the same issue. I’ll update when we have had a chance to test it more.
A quick video of our initial thoughts:
NOTE: The Cross will not work with previous Chariot model attachments.
The Bottom Line:
Bottom line? We’re still testing and using it, but it’s off to a great start! It’s sleek, well-built and comfortable for the kids. Definitely a step up from the popular Cougar model.
Thule provided us this sample for this review so we could share our thoughts with YOU! As always, everything is completely what we tell our family and friends and is no way influenced by the company.
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